Wine Entrepreneurship Master Class Offered Online in Spring 2021

Mastering strategic thinking and planning for wine business entrepreneurs and principals
January 25, 2021

Rohnert Park, CA - Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute’s Wine Entrepreneurship program will be offered online in Spring 2021. The 9-week master class exposes participants to frameworks to develop or reposition a vineyard and winery, as well as different models for profitability. While traditionally thought of as a program for new entities, the master class also provides the time and guided focus for principals wishing to revisit and revise their existing plans. The program is led by expert strategist and entrepreneur extraordinaire Dr. Anisya Fritz, proprietor of Lynmar Estate, a family-owned producer of ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and published author of numerous articles on competitive strategy and international entrepreneurship in leading journals such as the Harvard Business Review. 2021 will be the 10th year Dr. Fritz has been offering this program at Sonoma State. Application deadline for the Wine Entrepreneurship program is February 11 and classes begin February 18. Interested individuals can apply here

“In our new and changing landscape, wine business leaders underscore the need for ownership and management that can see the whole picture, be nimble, and adapt quickly to threats and changing consumer preferences. This master class focuses on entrepreneurial thinking, on defining strategy, not only for new entities but also for those leaders who want to revisit their big picture for the business that they have already built,” said Dr. Fritz.

“The Wine Entrepreneurship program gave me the time, place, and guidance to write a business plan that helped launch Tonic Marketing,” said Sara Soergel, class of 2017, principal of Tonic Marketing, and executive director of Rutherford Dust Society. “The program provided a safe space to ask questions and learn from our instructor, classmates, and industry guest speakers. It gave us a community and network to bounce ideas off of, seek help from, and connect with for resources.”

“The Wine Entrepreneurship program is usually taught in-person, and so this is a rare opportunity for those who live farther afield to take the course online,” said Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute. “Anisya is the proprietor of Lynmar Estate, a small, luxury brand in the Russian River Valley, that she successfully transitioned from 80 wholesale and 20 direct to consumer to 80-plus DTC. She is a master of strategic thinking.” 

Dr. Anisya Fritz is co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a nonprofit organization that works on improving the system of humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world. Previously, Dr. Fritz was an associate professor at Florida International University in Miami and a visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Stockholm, Sweden. She received her B.A. at Loyola College in Maryland and her M.S. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In addition to the Wine Entrepreneurship program, the Sonoma Executive Wine MBA is also launching this spring. Application deadline is set for February 28 and the program launches in April 2021. The GMAT is waived for those who have eight-plus years of progressive work experience. To learn more and apply, visit the Executive Wine MBA program website.

# # #

About the Wine Business Institute

The Wine Business Institute serves as an intellectual and industry hub for faculty, students, and the business community. Founded in 1996 as a partnership between the wine industry and the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, the WBI provides cutting-edge research that informs policy, industry best practices, and program curriculum. The WBI offers online and in-person wine-focused degrees and industry certifications. For more information about our wine business research, or degree and certificate programs, please contact us at, or visit